Cash call for war vets

MILITARY veterans from the Borders have been urged to use lottery cash to make what could be final poignant pilgrimages to their combat zones.

It follows a decision to extend the deadline for applications for cash aid from the BIG Lottery Fund’s Heroes Return programme.

Berwickshire, Roxburgh and Selkirk MP Michael Moore has welcomed the extension.

He commented: “Each veteran in the Borders has their own unique story to tell. Heroes Return is a unique opportunity for them to return to where they served and re-live the memory of the valuable sacrifice they and so many others made.

“The scheme helps to cover transport and other costs to enable veterans and their families to make journeys that would not otherwise be possible.

“I welcome the BIG Lottery Fund’s decision to extend the scheme, offering local veterans one last chance to take advantage of this funding.”

The scheme was established in 2009 ahead of the 65th anniversary of VJ Day and offers grants from £150 to £5,500.

So far, 50,000 individuals have benefited from the grants, returning to places such as Italy, France, Greece, Germany, Holland, the Far East, the USA and locations within the UK.

Extending the project means an extra £1million is available to veterans.

Mr Moore said he wanted all Borderers who might be eligible for grants under the Heroes Return scheme to take advantage of it and make an application before it comes to an end.